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Us 23, Eddie Long 6, Don 5, Eddie 5, America 4, Shane 4, Kevin 4, Ron Artest 3, B.j. Bernstein 3, Ted Haggard 3, Shane Lee 3, Michael 3, Cnn 3, Atlanta 3, Los Angeles 3, Gabrielle 2, Geico 2, Columbia University 2, Ted 2, Susan Burton 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business.  

    September 25, 2010
    10:00 - 11:00pm EDT  

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and that is my goal that, the public should connect with this talent that hasn't quite been discovered yet. so that's my goal for barry and for collin. >> and you proceed because you're a good guy and a funny guy. >> thank you, larry. you are a great man. we thank you for all your years of service. >> thanks for the clock. >> you're welcome. >> it shall be here nightly. >> that makes me feel good. good evening everyone. i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. tonight we're going to devote the better part of this hour to a discussion about the controversy swirling around bishop eddie long. among those joining us ted haggard a man who faced his own sex scandal while a minister but first we want to catch up on the top stories. they are drying out in the upper midwest but the water left behind from recent storms is causing big problems. torrential downpours have led to
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days of rising flood waters in parts of minnesota and wisconsin. no reports of deaths or injuries though. but the flooding is expected to last throughout the weekend. a federal judge is ordering the air force to reinstate an openly lesbian flight nurse. major margaret witt was discharged in 2007 under the military's don't ask don't tell policy but the judge ruled the discharge violated witt's constitutional rights. this past week the senate blocked a defense bill that would have repealed don't ask don't tell. a watch dog group for the separation of church and state is criticizing a concert staged today at fort bragg, carolina. the rock the for the event was put on by the billy graham evangelistic association which has staged similar events on other u.s. military bases. critics said the gathering blurred the line between the state in this case the military and religion. the leader of one of the biggest churches in america is under siege right now because of a string of sexual allegations against him. we're talking about the bishop
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eddie long of newbert missionary baptist church just outside of atlanta. he says he'll speak tomorrow to his congregation about the charges made in civil lawsuits this week by four young men who had been church members. long's address to his flock could make or break a huge li religious empire he built since he took over new birth in 1987. the church had 300 members when he became pastor and today claims more than 25,000 members. let's get you up to date on this developing story now with cnn's martin savage. he has been looking into these shocking allegations and the evolving story here. tell us about tomorrow's church service. we've been going back and forth about exactly when he is going to say, what the media will be allowed to say. >> no question the most important day probably in bishop long's life as being a religious leader and it's going to begin at 8:00 in the morning. there are two services tomorrow, 8:00 and 11:00. as far as media participation or
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being able to cover the event there will be the first half hour of the service up until bishop long arrives. that will be available. cnn will have a pool camera inside. there will also be the church feed. at 8:30 when he comes in, it all stops. cnn camera will be asked to leave and the feed for the church service will stop. the reporters who are there will be allowed to remain. they will hear what the bishop says to his congregation but that is considered to be a private moment for the bishop to speak to his family as they put it. >> the reasoning behind that, are they explaining that to you? >> no, not yet, other than they believe that it's obviously a very important communication he is going to make. they do not say in any way, shape, or form what his message is going to be. >> here is what people have been saying, the comments, and just people have been sort of, i don't know, thinking or assuming this that he may say something or is going to say something or possibly admit to something that he doesn't want repeated over and over on videotape. >> well, i mean, there will be a live stream fed out on the internet that you can access by
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going to the church website. the reality is it's doubtful that will uphold to all the people that will be logging on to try to see this but it is possible we could in fact see him make the statement. but beyond that, he is going to hold a press conference between the two church serviceus. the media is invited. all accredit news people can be on hand and ask what they want of bishop long and of his attorneys. >> all right. martin savidge, thank you. first there were two, three, and now there are four young men accusing bishop eddie long of coercing them into sex. martin savidge, thank you so much. we appreciate it. we'll move on now and talk about this sexual misconduct happens every day but when the allegations are directed at the clergy, it is especially unsettling. ted haggard has had his own sex scandal and crisis of faith. it was back in 2006 and he joins us from denver. thank you so much for joining us, ted. how are you doing today? >> i'm doing well. good to see you, don. >> what do you make of these allegations against bishop eddie long? >> well, it's very sad.
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i think it points out to me that over and over and over again we all hope that our leaders don't have sin in their life or don't fail but when we look we find out leaders are just like everybody else. whether he's guilty of these particular allegations or not, there are other faults in everybody's life. everybody needs grace. everybody's going to fail. everybody is in some measure a hypocrite in one way or another and that's always disappointing. and so i think it just points out to us that we are all humans and we all struggle with the human condition. >> so listen. i want to play this because what happened with you, it was said that you were hypocritical in a sense because at first you didn't tell the truth about it. you said, well, these allegations are false. >> right. >> and you didn't believe in gay marriage and you didn't believe in homosexuality at all. so i want to talk about this because bishop eddie long also has said the same things. he does know believe in gay marriage. he says it's against god.
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to me when i interviewed him in october of last year he said the same thing. i don't believe in gay marriage. it is against god. play number two for me, tom. we're going to talk about a marriage ceremony or commitment ceremony that he is alleged to have had with one of the young men. >> eventually it turned into such a relationship that the bishop had a ceremony with anthony flag called a covenant. within that covenant it was essentially a marriage ceremony where there was candles, exchange of jewelry, and biblical quotes given in order for anthony to know and for the bishop to tell him, i will always have your back and you will always have mine. >> so, reverend, is this a matter of hypocrisy? listen, innocent until proven guilty. if the bishop, you know, does come out -- >> who knows what he is going to say tomorrow? but is it a matter of hypocrisy here when you hear these allegations? >> well, i think it's an issue
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of incongruity. i'm just guessing here but he probably has a theological position that motivates him in some areas of his life. then he has, if these allegations are true, then there's the reality of his own humanity that he is struggling with. and of course the big goal is for all of us to become increasingly congruent between our faith, our belief system, and our own actions. and so certainly if what he is going to go through is what i went through, i had to face myself and accept the reality of me, who i was, what was going on, how that interfaces with scripture, how that interfaces with life, and get those issues settled. and that's what happens when people go through a crisis like this. >> so the church is a very -- >> i know. it's very confusing. >> it is. what i'm saying is the church is a very forgiving place.
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and you admitted these things. but you still lost your post and your church. >> yeah. that's the same thing. people have a theology, belief system, and realities. christians know all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god. christians know jesus christ died for everybody and we don't have righteousness on our own yet christians are judgmental, the same type of inof incongrui. that's why life teaches all of us. these four men are going through lessons in life maybe about their own vulnerabilities and their own actions. bishop long is going through the same type of thing. so we, from the outside, when we look at this we see this as an incredible learning moment for all of us but where we become hypocrites is we may say, well, i'm judging him now for hypocrisy and i'm judging the men for not being maybe as responsible as they should to
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stand up under pressure or whatever. i think what we need to be from the outside is supportive and encouraging for all parties concerned. let the church handle this. let the legal authorities handle this. there are four civil lawsuits. but our role is to pray that there is a tomorrow for all of them and to pray that all of them become better men just like all of us become better men and women as we go through disappointing things in life. >> okay. listen, there were, with you there were e-mails and they tracked your credit cards and they tracked online and whatever and you i believe said you got to a point where there was so much evidence where -- that you were glad that evidence was out there because there was no turning back. you had to tell the truth. let's listen to number six and we'll talk about that. >> i have the bishop's private e-mail addresses, more than one. he would text them. he would write them. we're not saying they're pornographic material. but this bishop, why? this man is so powerful, who is
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supposed to be busy ministering to his flock, has time to e-mail them back and forth over and over throughout the day, send me a picture of you at school. wherever it is. just send me a picture of you. >> again, reverend, innocent until proven guilty. does any of this sound familiar to you? >> well, i think everybody in ministry e-mails a lot of people, texts a lot of people. the content of those texts and e-mails is important not the fact that he does that. the same way with traveling with people. all megachurch pastors have to have people travel with them in order to get things done and things like that. what counts, so traveling isn't indicative in itself. what's indicative is what's going on during those trips. and all of that is yet to come out. all of that will be discussed tomorrow at church, then there will be additional responses and so i would just encourage everybody to understand this reflects the human condition in a variety of different ways and we all need to look at that, let
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it warn us, and let it help every one of us as we watch this. but it won't help all of us if we're just judgmental and harsh. instead, we need to learn from the four men. we need to learn from what's going on with the bishop and be sympathetic and helpful to wives, children, and understand these are people. they aren't just symbols. they're people that we all need to be concerned about. there's enough hate in the world. we can all use a little more love. >> reverend, thank you. i want you to stand by because we have a lot more to talk about. the reverend is going to rejoin us in a little bit. plus what do the members of eddie long's church think about all of this? we have three of them right here and we'll ask them along with a former employee of the church. and a look at the role of the black church in the lives of its members. we want you to be part of this conversation tonight. you can go on any of the social networking sites. any of the social media there that you see and send us a comment. we will get it on the air and pose it to our guests. ♪
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bishop eddie long isn't the only one named in the lawsuit against him. so is a new birth missionary baptist church. but long's congregation for the most part appears to be standing behind him. this support essentially has to do with the fact that nothing has been proven yet. these are all allegations. we want to bring in a panel to ask what it also says about the fate of the black community, about faith in the black community. mark hill is a columbia university professor and host of a syndicated tv show called "our world with black enterprise" and shane lee is a professor at tulane university and the author of several books examining american religion and culture.
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gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. is there a tendency in the black community to elevate church leaders to the level of superstars? >> absolutely. we've seen that since the very beginning of black people's journey here in america. for a long time preachers are one of the few people who had access to education and could exercise true leadership and for so long the black church has been a center piece of not just black religious life but black cultural and political life. preachers are superstars. before we had presidents and senators we had celebrity preachers and we continue to sort of raise them up now. >> so, shane lee, is that necessarily bad? >> it depends. it can be good because i think competition and having ministers learn from each other and improve their messages, ministries, technologies, their ways of meeting needs and tastes of people, i think that's a good thing. but when you build a spiritual empire it creates new pragmatic realities you have to deal with and that means generating large sums of money and that might
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challenge the prophetic nature of your ministry causing you to take short cuts or even causing you to buy into the hype and to see yourself as a star rather than as a humble servant. so i think it could go be good in enhancing the professionalism of the black church but could also be something that, pride c as the bible says. >> mark, you are shaking your head very certainly. why are you doing that? >> well, because it's so easy, you know, to be seduced by the cars and the jets and the attention. instead of being a prophet you can actually just become a pimp. i'm not talking about eddie long in particular but anyone who has access to that much adoration at one time. what we've seen and shane talks about this in his book is many of these people have become america's preachers, people who transcend even racial boundaries. so when you get an eddie long or some of the other megachurch members there is a huge possibility, a huge trap you can fall into if you're not careful. you can start to think you're god rather than god's prophet. >> that's what i was going to
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say, shane and mark. doing this whole story for the past week or so i've heard everybody talking about the bishop, my bishop, whatever, going to stand behind him, which is great. no one has mentioned god or jesus or christ in any of this. shane? >> to be fair to bishop long, i think part of his success and the reason why people are so loyal is because he's very effective at preaching a message that speaks to their needs. he is effective at speaking in a language that people understand. and his ministry, along with, you know, his own personal finances, have done a lot to help the needy, help poor people, so there is a side to bishop long that generates loyalty that comes from, you know, he does have a humble servant's heart along side a huge ego and cocky attitude and bold kind of masculine presence. so he is a complex figure and i think we have to realize both sides of the equation. >> and might that -- i'm just asking. might that explain the pictures in the bathroom with the tight
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spandex or whatever is that he is bold and cocky and that is sort of his, the way he does business, differently than old school preachers? >> well, there is nothing new school about that. preachers have been doing this since day one. that is a very generous interpretation and if this happens to be one of the greatest scandals perpetrated by the plaintiffs then that could be true. what i think is more likely is this is someone whose ego got the best of him, his desire got the best of him, someone who lost track of his calling and as a result ended up in a very, very bad place and all we can do is hope that he and the victims make it out. but those pictures are very damning. i can't imagine any kind of reasonable explanation for that type of activity from a preacher. >> that's what i'm going to ask you, shane. if we can put those pictures back up. how do you explain that? do you say this is, i'm sending this to you because i want you to work on your spiritual muscle? how would you -- how would one explain sending those pictures to someone? >> i'm very curious to see how
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bishop long explains it but i'm surprised he'll do a press conference where he is going to take questions because, don, your very question is going to be what's asked and he has to come up with some crazy, some kind of explanation for that picture to show it in a way where it's not damaging. >> long himself has preached homosexuality is a sin. it is not unique in the black church, and is that part of the problem? not necessarily teaching that homosexuality is a sin. that's number one the hypocrisy but also the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the black church. i read a "newsweek" article, mark, saying when are gays and lesbians in the black church going to be treated as equals or even allowed into the fold? >> right. i mean the fundamental question is will they be treated as human beings? you know, while this is not unusual in the black church there are strands of black religious thought that are much more open and much more sort of understanding. those that follow the tradition of jesus and the love ethic is the primary thing, that i will
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love all people and all neighbors as myself. other churches like eddie long's are not only antigay but very adamant and extravagant in their campaign against gay and lesbian people. >> which is really odd to me coming from african-americans who have been discriminate add gens. i don't understand why people who have been discriminated against will then turn around and discriminate against other people. they know how it feels. >> right. but i think there is a deep sense of shame and embarrassment in the black church, in the black community in generally think a deep sense of shame around sexual identity, around homosexuality, and around sexual abuse. i think that's why you see these types of things happening. >> five seconds. what did you want to say? >> the evangelicals see the bible as the authoritative word of god and as long as plain reading, homosexuality is going to be a problem. >> stay with us, guys. we've heard what the accusers have to say. tomorrow you'll hear what bishop long has to say. when we come back we'll talk live with several members of long's congregation. what they think about these allegations.
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their spiritual leader is under fire so what kind of toll is the bishop's scandal taking on the members of his church and do they continue to stand behind bishop eddie long? joining me here is atlanta is john campbell iii, gary foster, and gabriel richards. thanks for joining us. they all attend new birth missionary baptist church and we have via skype a former employee of new birth. kevin, i want to start with you and ask you since you are now observing from the outside, do you think that most of the members of the church will stand behind bishop long? >> first of all, thanks, don, for the opportunity. i do. the black church is very loyal, even sometimes to a fault. but at the same time, many of them came to christ under bishop long's ministry. so they definitely will be loyal and trust that he's innocent and hope that these charges can be
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proven to not be true. >> and what about your feelings about this? i asked you about them. how do you feel about this? >> well, without a shadow of a doubt the information is damaging. the evidence and all the things coming out slowly one piece at a time, all that is very troubling to many of us in the gospel and christian community and it is my hope that these things are not true and that he'll be able to prove his innocence. >> okay. so, john, why do you stand behind the bishop. >> i personally stand behind the bishop because he is my leader and as members of the body of christ it is our duty to stand behind and lift the arms of our prophet and that's what i will continue to do until he gives me reason not to. >> what about you, gabriel? >> i've been a member for almost eight years now. and ever since i've been there the ministry has done so much for my family and i, for my friends and i, and for my school
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mates. i stand behind the ministry. >> okay. gary? >> i stand behind the bishop because of the leader that he is. he is a true leader. the word that he gives is so rich and so life changing. there is something about bishop that you just respect. and i support the ministry because the ministry has supported me. >> when he was supposed to speak out on the radio show and then speak out at other times and he didn't, did that concern you at all, gabrielle, are you at all asking yourselves, any of you, why isn't he talking about this? >> well, i feel as though he is following his spirit because it may not be the appointed time for him to step out yet. he wants to address his congregation on sunday and that's what he wants to do.
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i agree with that. >> hang on one second. i want to hear this young man. go ahead, kevin. >> i feel this is very typical of bishop. he is a family oriented man and he will view new birth as his family so i do see why he would -- he would delay speaking to the radio before speaking to his congregation. >> kevin, go ahead. >> well, we understand the delay but even those of us in c christendom we want to hear from bishop long. we've bought the books and cds as well and we want him to speak out so the cloud of suspicion can be dispersed. >> i know it is very tough to listen to this but i want you to listen to what the lawyer of the accused had to say about one of the young men that is accusing the bishop and their relationship and what happened. let's play that and then we'll talk about it. >> anthony was moved in and
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lived in that house approximately at the end of 11th grade when he was 17 years old and there the pastor started to do what adult pedophiles do with younger people which is starting to spend time with them, casually -- -- telling him how special he was to him and it was special for the bishop to be able to spend time with him. they did devotional readings together. he was over there on a regular basis at this house. >> what do you think when you hear that? what do you think when you hear that, john? >> i still have a feeling those are not the intentions of bishop. bishop is known to be a mentor to young men and i feel that him
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having interaction with this young man or watching tv with him is nothing -- i don't feel it was anything with a negative intention behind that. >> you want me to tell you what got my attention about this? and i never admitted this on television. i am a victim of pedophile when i was a kid, someone who was much older than me and those are the things that they do -- the language. this doesn't make you gay if do you this. so when someone starts to say that, you start to perk up and go, oh, four people have said the same exact story and using the same buzz words. how do people come up with those stories? did that ever cross any of your minds, gabrielle, when you heard that, four people who have come up with the exact same story, two of them know each other. the third one doesn't really know the other one and the fourth one doesn't know any of them. >> when i look at different pedophiles as you said, i don't see bishop as one. if you look at the various things that he's done for the community and for young people
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in general, none of it boils down to him looking like a pedophile. >> i'm not saying the bishop is a pedophile. i'm not saying the bishop is guilty but no one is perfect and so far, you please, i have heard members of the congregation, some people say that but many people have not even put into their mind the possibility that this man is not perfect and maybe in some way even if it wasn't, the behavior didn't go as far as what the men are saying that something there is inappropriate. kevin, you're older than these guys. i have never admitted that on television. i never told my mom until i was 30 years old. the things these young men are talking about men don't want to talk about those things and admit them even if there is money involved that you may make money off of it. >> you are telling the truth, don. the truth of the matter is most people don't lie when it comes to this type of thing. that's why it is very important that the bishop speak out and
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the pause and delay it has taken for him to speak out has really caused more -- made it even more troubling. >> you are all brave. kevin, thank you for joining us from london. thank you guys so much. i think you are very brave and of course you should stand behind your bishop but also have an open mind about this. we hope that these allegations are not true. and as i said, i've been saying all week, there are no winners in this situation. so best of luck to you tomorrow and come back tomorrow and talk to us about what you heard there in the congregation. okay? >> okay. >> all right. >> thank you very much. black church goers often look to their leaders as role models many times putting them on a pedestal but does that leave them vulnerable to exploitation? we'll zhaus next. without drowsiness.y congesf get claritin-d at the pharmacy counter. live claritin clear.
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we have been discussing the sex scandal that has now engulfed bishop eddie long of new birth missionary baptist church in georgia right here outside of atlanta. i want to bring back our panel now, columbia university professor mark hill, tv host of "our world with black enterprise" and then tulane university professor shane lee. also ted haggard now pastor of the st. james church in colorado springs. thank you, guys, for talking about this. it was tough to play that for the members of the church. they were so young. but, you know, this is reality here. the woman who is representing the plaintiffs here, the young men, b.j. bernstein, a very prominent attorney, and b.j.
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bernstein doesn't mess around. she did the young man involved, represented him, got him off. it was a very big case. she talked about this case and just why she thought she would take it on and said bring it in to federal officials. take a look at this. >> i can tell you, this is -- gives me the creeps beyond anything i've ever heard because for someone to use their power and be their pastor and use biblical verses when he is out in front and listed by the southern poverty law center as one of the most homophobic preachers in america? and so he makes these virulent, antihomosexual remarks and at the same time he is leading apparently some sort of double life. and these young men are confused. they're confused about their sexuality because at the same time this is happening they're actually wanting to meet girls. one of these young man is the father of a child because they aren't gay.
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they just wanted to be loved and cared for by one of the most powerful, charismatic men that the churches have ever known. >> i was looking at your faces as that was going on. ted, this looks like it pains you. >> well, the human condition is painful. anybody with a set of ideals, especially somebody obligated to teach the scriptures, has that set of ideals and then they've got their inhumanity. what stressed me earlier was when you interviewed the church members how they did he said he did so many good things he couldn't have done this. that is not true. it is not reflective of the human condition. every pastor is a sinner while at the same time a saint. it is a percentage thing. he is a human communicating divine things and so that struggle is universal and everybody has to accept that one way or another. >> i need to interject. i think there is a homophobic
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undertone that has governed this entire conversation with the media in general. as ted points out the inhumanity of eddie long. if there is something about him that is fundamentally problematic it has nothing to do with homosexuality or het row sexuality. it has to do with -- whether or not these boys are gay or not isn't even the point. there is nothing ex-cull pa tri about being straight. the point is a teacher has exploited his flock. that is the problem. as long as we continue to prosecute this in a way that reinforces homophobia in the church and our communities we'll continue to have problems like this. that is why people like eddie long can be out there and be virulently homophobic and at the very same time prey upon the bodies of his flock. >> listen, b.j. bernstein speaks to that. play number three, guys. then we'll talk about it. >> he would use biblical stories to talk about how important it was to follow your leader. and your master. and let him know the acts he was
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engaged in were not necessarily meaning he was a homosexual or that either of them was but rather the pastor, bishop long, was releasing his passion and his love for anthony. >> what do you think of that and what mark said, there is an underlying homophobia not only with this case the way it is presented but also with the media and the way it's being interpreted in the public? >> you can go back to any james baldwin novel that deals with the church to see that the black church is a hot bed of sensuality and at times powerful people exploit people under them to yield to those temptations. but the difference here is if bishop long were accused by women, i think there would be, even if he was guilty, there would be a chance that he could survive. the fact that the black church has such a strong stance, i should say black churches have strong stanceas gens hos agains
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homosexuality presents this in a whole different light as far as damaging his career. if these allegations even hold partially true to show someone has same sex erotic urges his ministry is done. >> we're talking about the black church here. is the black church more homophobic in a sense than the white church do you think? >> i think that the main line churches are much less but my experience was that evangelicalism was -- their response to me was incredibly, incredibly harsh because of the homosexual element. and it's much easier culturally if your sin tendency is heterosexual than if it's same sex attraction. i think the overall point is the church is not the gathering together of the righteous. it is the gathering together of the gratefully redeemed and we have to get over the fact our leaders, sunday school teachers, or anybody else, nobody is
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perfect. everybody is in process and i don't say that to justify or explain anything away. just as a lesson in reality that when we exalt people and start thinking they're perfect we're in for disappointment. if it isn't this particular sin it is another one. all have sinned. everybody needs redemption. >> that's going to have to be the last word. thank you, guys. so much. very interesting conversation. very smart conversation. and no yelling and screaming. just how i like it. thank you so much, guys. >> thanks, don. >> thank you. >> have a great evening. >> a pleasure. we'll check our top stories after a short break. ♪
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time for top stories. the pentagon is making sure no one can read the first printing of an army reserve officer's tell all. it's bought and destroyed nearly 10,000 copies of lieutenant colonel anthony shaffer's memoir called "operation dark heart" about his service in afghanistan. it says the memoir contained information damaging to national security. the author disputes that. the book has been re-released with pentagon approved changes. a critical deadline on the israeli/palestinian peace talks
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is looming. palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas told the u.n. general assembly today that israel must extend the freeze on settlement construction in the west bank to keep the negotiations alive. that freeze expires sunday. it came with no warning and by the time it was gone at least five people were dead. a fierce storm roared through haiti's earthquake ravaged capital of port-au-prince yesterday. heavy winds and rains downed trees, power lines, and tents providing shelter to quake survivors. crews are searching for people who may still be trapped or injured. ahead here tonight actress rickie lake introduces us to one of the top ten cnn heroes of 2010. all the nutrition of to, plus 10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3.
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this week cnn announced our top ten cnn heroes of 2010 one of whom will become the cnn hero of the year. actress rikki lake introduces to one of those nominees, susan burton, who overcame a troubled past to help more than 400 female ex-cons get back on their feet. >> i am rikki lake. the last two years i have had the honor of helping to recognize the great works of every day people changing the world at cnn heroes, an all star
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tribute. as a supporter of 2008 top ten cnn hero marie desilva, i am committed to building schools, providing education, and preventing aids in malawi and i am thrilled to help cnn introduce one of this year's top ten honorees. now more than ever the world needs heroes. >> we all leave prison saying, i'm going to get my life ontrack. and you end up getting off a bus downtown los angeles skid row. many times you don't even make it out of the skid row area before you're caught up into that cycle again. my name is susan burton. after my son died, i used drugs. i went to prison six times. finally, i found rehab. oon i thought, i can help women come home from prison. i pick them up, bring them back to the house. >> she offered you a warm bed,
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food. like a real family. she made me want to change my life. >> sure. you came a long, long way. >> this is life. that's what it's all about. interesting grooming.
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in tonight's "what matters" a sports superstar learns how to handle fame and his own troubled past and decides to use his own start up to promote the cause of
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mental health. we sit down with the nba's ron artest. >> from the queens bridge housing project in new york he made it to the nba. >> always wanted to win a game. >> that's a three. >> how many times do you think you've seen that moment? >> at least a hundred times. >> reporter: we sat down with los angeles laker and aspiring rapper ron artest at his hollywood recording studio and watched his first nba world championship on youtube. >> that's a three! >> reporter: all of a sudden we see this exuberant ron artest. he is just like bouncing across the court. >> yes, yes. >> reporter: a reporter catches you. what did you tell that reporter? >> i told her i was feeling great and i wanted to make sure to my success that i humble myself before i party like a rock star. >> reporter: and he went through it. >> i want to thank my doctor, my psychiatrist. she helped me relax a lot. >> i was watching the game and i thought i wonder what he means by that. >> my psychologist was the first
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person that came to my mind. >> i thought i heard you say i want to thank my psychiatrist. >> yeah. i did say psychiatrist because i didn't know the difference between a psychologist or psychiatrist. >> reporter: therapy for you has been part of your life for a long time. >> a great psychologist. he made me go deep, deep into my childhood, deep into my life and deep, deep into my vices. and then i had to tell my wife everything. and, you know, that totally changed my life. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: that unscripted moment in front of the largest global audience ever for an nba finals game would transform this lakers champion into a champion for mental health. >> one of the greatest basketball players in the game and, and what makes him even greater is the fact that he is willing to stand up and say, mental health is important to all of us. world champion ron artest. >> artest recently teamed up
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with california congresswoman grace napolitano to promote the mental health in schools act which funds counseling programs for students. >> as a kid had a temper. as an adult i was a bad father and i had to speak to somebody about that. >> you've gone through childhood counseling, marriage counseling. >> yes. >> parenting classes. >> yes. >> artest, a married father of four, had his first son when he was just 16. four years later, he was drafted into the nba by the chicago bulls. he admits it's ban b ae's been e there was a moment that was highly public. >> yeah. >> november, 2004. the pacers were playing the pistons in detroit, a huge fight broke out on the court that artest took into the stands. he was suspended for 73 games, the equivalent of about $6 million. >> did that compel you to go and get help? or anger management? >> no. actually the courts said i had to go to ainge mary ann ahern
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jmt class. >> artest was one of ten children who grew up in the projects in new york. ♪ seeing the death on the front page kind of messed me up ♪ >> i was afraid and i backed off. >> reporter: when ron was 13 his parents separated. artest says that was the hurt of his life and the reason he sought counseling at school. it's the same reason 13-year-old shawn johnson is in counseling at his school. how does counseling help with that? >> taking my anger out and discussing it with someone. >> reporter: you can relate to that? >> yeah, i can relate to it. at least having somebody to talk to is very important. >> reporter: and no one knows better than ron. he credits counseling for his success and happiness. cnn, los angeles. >> artest says he will donate his championship ring to raise money for mental health
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counseling services for youth who can't afford it. he says celebrities have offered to buy his ring but he has declined to hold a random drawing so all his fans can have a fair chance to win. we're back in a moment. are you suffering from frequent heartburn? heartburn that keeps coming back? then you're ready for new zegerid otc. zegerid otc is the first 24-hour treatment ever with two active ingredients: prescription-strength medicine plus a protective ingredient that shields the medicine from stomach acid so it's effectively absorbed. just one zegerid otc capsule a day can relieve your heartburn all day and all night. if you have frequent heartburn,
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